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Hakan Hisim: Interview with a Visionary Artist

 [Interviewed by Soraya Putra]

Hakan gives us some insight into his creative process, his thoughts on technology as well as arts.... It was a pleasure to find out more about the creative force behind the artwork.


A lot of artists and creatives would much rather focus on their artistic work and forget all about the messy business of marketing and running a business. What’s it like for you? Do you enjoy being an entrepreneur, or would you rather have more time for creativity? Or have the worlds of promoting yourself as a brand and being an artist become one cohesive dimension?

I would definitely appreciate more time for creativity. I think that the stigma of self-promotion is still quite prevalent among those who cling to the "Starving Artist" mindset and paradigm. We live in an age where an artist has so many tools to utilise, and social media is just another tool. I feel some sort of success is a delicate balance between promotion and creativity. I have spent years as a recluse not showing or sharing my art, just creating, and also years spent mainly trying to promote myself and get my art "out there", after doing both I can clearly say both methods were not productive; psychologically, socially or artistically.

I think being able to create full-time art and continually promote yourself is something of a shift that"s occurring since the rise of the Internet and the proliferation of digital art. It"s happening at a time where the people realise there is no scarcity and that the model of the starving artist and tortured soul is obsolete in a world filled with endless opportunities.

Do you remember what it was that drew you to the psychedelic arts? Are those feelings still relevant to you or have they evolved?

I was always drawn to the arts and also spent years making abstract and surreal oil paintings. My very first LSD experience had a very powerful effect on my art and life in general. But what changed everything for me in a very profound and palpable way was my first DMT breakthrough experience. The visual aspect, especially really effected me deeply and I remember thinking as I was returning to 3D reality "I have to learn to be able to capture this with art!"

After all these years, I"m still mesmerised by those higher dimensions but much less "Infatuated" with creating DMTesque visuals. I love to mix a lot of stuff styles up these days.

What is one of the most constant ideas in your work? Are there any elements or ideas that you seem to always come back to when creating? What are they and can you explain how these ideas connect to psychedelic arts?

I do use recurring patterns and themes throughout my artworks; I like to think they create a sense of continuity and familiarity to the viewer that creates an illusion of a cohesive fantasy world. This also creates a reference point for the "experienced" viewer: The Nostalgic feelings of "returning home" activated with Psychedelic medicines help to accentuate this feeling of continuity.

I use a lot of sacred geometry in my art, but not the standard fare. I like to recreate sacred structures imbued with more interest and detail, its mostly for aesthetics as the base forms and geometries are more or less the same.

I also like to use a lot of cryptic texts, alien languages and symbols in my art, again deeply influenced by the linguistic dmtesque machinery.

As an artist, it"s important to keep testing the limits of your medium and your creative processes. How do you keep your artwork fresh? Is it a constant process of challenging yourself to move to new ideological places so that you can develop a fresh perspective or does this happen quite naturally?

I wish it would happen naturally! I have an innate pull towards my comfort zone and therefore can really get caught into stagnation quite easily. This is why I try to incorporate the shake things up approach to my daily routine. Its very very easy to get caught in one"s own traps and pitfalls. Connecting with amazing people and artists online and especially at festivals can really help shift ones perspective enough to catalyse a mini creative renaissance within the psyche.

Mushroom Magazine wrote this about you: "Deeply influenced by the occult and esoteric concepts, his use of bold colour schemes are used to accentuate this intrinsic contrast of micro and macro, of the familiar and the alien." Could you tell us a bit more about how your work expresses these differences? Do you have any motifs or colours or patterns that you always come back to for certain things?

I like to use ancient motifs and symbols as guides to recreate them with more detail and interest to support the original meanings of those symbols. I really love to use contrast, in any way that I can. This realm is one of duality, and I think strong contrast really resonates with everyone on the planet.


Do you believe in the concept of formal training for aspiring artists?

No. I went to art school, studied traditional painting. Went to film school, studied cinema. I was taught a whole lot of formulas, theories and ideologies; I was taught with technology that is now obsolete. I was indoctrinated into the "western art cult."

What I learnt and what I use today is what I taught myself, watched online or taught by a friend. All I have from my formal training is some colour theory and Anatomy / Shading / Rendering but to be honest I don"t believe one needs to be initiated into the traditional educational systems to learn any of this. The education models that currently exist for our children and youth are grossly dehumanizing and standardising; I find it amusing that we think that we graduate to a better education system when we graduate to another school.

Do you feel that contemporary psychedelic artists lean too heavily on a relatively limited design language and a relatively small palette of elements and ideas?

I think this is a personal journey and unique for every artist as they evolve along with the tools at our disposal. I was heavily influenced by the art of Alex Grey and also Luke Brown when I first started making psychedelic art, I think is great to be inspired by great artists but its also a personal choice and responsibility to develop your visual language over time and experience.

You"ve been an artist in this scene for a while? Are there areas or ideas that you feel are under-explored, or getting forgotten about?

Visionary art has been quite hip for some years now, and the scene definitely has a cliquey vibe to it. It"s quite funny writing this as an artist who is often labelled visionary I am well aware of that! From what I can see, many artists seem to be drawing on second-hand visions (I have also done this in the past), being heavily influenced by powerful visions of artists like Alex Grey rather than interpreting a unique visionary experience themselves. Again, this a journey and from what I gather, the artists putting out the most unique work are often those who are deeply involved with processing thier own internal vision, rather than just trying to make something look aesthetically pleasing in a fashionable way.

What would you say are the core aspects of psychedelic art? Are there any artists out there whose work you feel really captures this essence? Who are they?

I think Psychedelic art is transpersonal, Patterns and geometries obviously play a strong role leaning towards a more recursive and fractal nature. There are so many amazing artists to be all named here, although I can"t help but mention both Ben Ridgeway and İhti Anderson. Their art is incredibly unique and massively transpersonal creating coherent dimensions in their own right!


What sorts of equipment/materials are you currently using to create your visuals effects?

I currently use two high-end laptops, PC, Mac and Linux, Wacom Intuos Touch 5 and too many hard drives to mention. I like to use and experiment with all types of visual software, most using Photoshop, Painter, Cinema 4D and Zbrush for static art. I use Photoshop, Cinema 4D, After Effects and Zbrush mainly for creating video. I don"t use fractal generators as often anywore, but mostly use Ultra Fractal, Incendia and Mandelbulb 3D. For live performances and video mapping, I use Resolume Arena and Madmapper.

I have recently been learning and experimenting with game engines to create visual effects and plan to develop my animations further into VR. I have started with Unreal Engine 4, Substance Painter and Marmoset Toolbag. When familiar with the terrain I would like also to learn how to use the Unity Engine.

In the last decade have there been any technological developments that were clear game changers for visual artists?

For sure. The exponential growth in the power and capability of hardware has allowed game engines like Unreal and Unity to create incredibly beautiful and detailed realtime environments with Physical Based Shading, now starting to rival a lot of the 3D raytracing on the market without having the need to wait excruciating render times. Instant visual feedback in immersive environments that you create yourself gives a whole new meaning to "creative flow" It"s actually a whole new way of creating digital art, opening incredible avenues up to artists every single day. The Occulus Rift was also another game changer, spawning amazing software like Tilt brush. Virtual Reality is both an apex and gateway into truly immersive works of art.

Clearly there is a lot of technology involved in the work of an VJ and technology is continually changing and evolving. Do you find this a distraction? Or are you naturally open to using new technologies relating to your creative work?

It sometimes can be a distraction, but also incredibly beneficial, with everything, balance is the key. Being open and aware of new technologies without having to rely on any of them too much seems to work best for me. It can be difficult, though, to keep making art, promoting and maintaining yourself, and live gigs don"t leave too much room to research and learn new tech.

There seems to be a lot of importance placed on words like "natural" and "organic" and "hand made" when it comes to psychedelic culture. Do you think that the use of technology goes against these ideas? Or do you find that they are somehow complementary? In either case, could you explain how or why?

This futile feud between digital and traditional art is even more prevalent in developing countries like Turkey. I have had people telling me to automate the process so the computer spits out art all day long by itself because all I need to do is click some buttons!

Having done both, I can easily say that all art is hand made. The computer is just an awesome high-tech paintbrush, canvas and pigment stash all rolled into one. Using a computer or organic materials to create art is a matter of choice and preference of the artist and nothing more. I really respect artists that utilise both methods, remixing both technologies together, blurring the lines to create some amazing masterpieces!

"The act of painting with light and electricity is the purest form of painting that is currently possible." I read that elsewhere on the net about your artwork. Could you tell us how technology is enabling you to express this idea?

We humans have so many thoughts and ideas its crazy, multiply this with the hyper mass media manipulation of our senses and emotions, we think and create at lightspeed in our minds and spirits. The computer removes the "Physical Inertia" or general speed restrictions for creative processes offered by traditional media allowing us to make immediate changes to the piece without having to wait for some physical material or medium ready for another coat. To me this feels closer to creating with my spirit rather than say, drawing, I can process my ideas a lot faster and with a better flow on a computer than with paper. Game Engines are currently doing the same thing now regarding realtime (instant) vs. Rendered (processing time) imagery.

What are you looking forward to, with regards to new creative technology?

In the near future, I would love to create my artworks as multidimensional pieces. Where the viewer is able to see its static image, see its animated version and then also plug into its full immersive 3D environment. Incredibly precise Audioreactive elements could also be introduced into the scene for those with a penchant for synesthesia :)

Moon Tripper joins Brother Moon Sister Sun

 We are very happy to announce the signing of Moon Tripper to the BMSS Records family!

Starting from a solid base in Ambient, Psychill, Uplifting and Tech Trance, Brad has carried on establishing his Psychedelic Trance style. He kicked off his Psy-Trance project under the alias "Moon Tripper” in 2013. A twist of dark, serious and mysterious atmospheres blended with ethnic resonances, oriental vibes, crunchy and spirited soundscapes designed to elevate your journey.

Moon Tripper will have his first release on BMSS Records in the coming EP is in the making plus he will be featured on Boom Shankar`s upcoming double CD compilation "Trancefusion", due to be out in late 2016.

To welcome Brad properly, here is "Trip to the Moon", the Live Promo Set of Moon Tripper featuring some of his best releases so far. Enjoy!

More info on Moon Tripper here!

Oddwave & Mental Droop: Unchained

 French artist Oddwave teams up with Mental Droop to unleash two nighttime beasts on their latest revelation "Unchained”. To scream or not to scream seems to be the question of the hour, and it`s up to you to decide which of the two tracks you want to unchain over moon illuminated dance floors. Both feature full power psychedelic FX, hypnotizing grooves and a dynamic approach to the wee hours of the morning.

Mastered by RES Masterings (Mechanimal)


01. Oddwave & Mental Droop - Scream on me
02. Oddwave & Mental Droop - Don`t scream on me

Mastering: Res Masterings (Mechanimal)
Design: Armin Acora

Release date:

03.10.16 via Beatport (Digital)

Alice im Wummerland - It`s time for Chapter 9!

"Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.” (Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland)

See you at our 9th installment of the Alice im Wummerland party series. One of the biggest & baddest indoor Psytrance events in Germany. More info here.

Next on BMSS: OddWave & Mental Droop

 French artist Oddwave teams up with Mental Droop to unleash two nighttime beasts on their latest revelation "Unchained”. To scream or not to scream seems to be the question of the hour, and it`s up to you to decide which of the two tracks you want to unchain over moon illuminated dance floors.

Both feature full power psychedelic FX, hypnotizing grooves and a dynamic approach to the wee hours of the morning.

Mastered by RES Masterings (Mechanimal)
Release Date: 03 October 2016

Track listening:

01. Oddwave & Mental Droop - Scream on me
02. Oddwave & Mental Droop - Don`t scream on me

LunoSol joins Brother Moon Sister Sun

We are very excited to have a new deco crew on board our BMSS Records family! Based in the States and in Canada, they will tour Europe for the 2017 season. More info soon, stay tuned and have a look to their website!

Boom Shankar at Hexaplex Festival in Lebanon

Epic moments during Boom Shankar`s set at Hexaplex Festival 2016 in Lebanon.

"The location was truly amazing, the atmosphere shifted from sunshine to deep mist from low clouds and back again to sunshine. One of those sets I will remember for a long time! 5 hours of full power psychedelix...Lebanese people know how to party and the vibe was similar to the ones we enjoyed in the 90s in Europe and Asia...phenomenal! Keep the spirit alive guys and thank you Analog for turning a dream into reality and for having our BMSS Records family on board!"

Boom Shankar at Hexaplex Festival​ 2016 in Lebanon

Epic moments during my Boom Shankar set at Hexaplex Festival 2016 in Lebanon. The location was truly amazing, the atmosphere shifted from sunshine to deep mist from low clouds and back again to sunshine. One of those sets I will remember for a long time! 5 hours of full power psychedelix...Lebanese people know how to party and the vibe was similar to the ones we enjoyed in the 90s in Europe and Asia...phenomenal! Keep the spirit alive guys and thank you Analog for turning a dream into reality and for having our BMSS Records family on board! <3

Posted by Boom Shankar on Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Ascent & Sabretooth: Higher Forces

 After a successful debut of his new project with Ovnimoon (The Key), Bojan returns to his alter ego Ascent and delivers an impeccable debut EP on his new home label BMSS Records. The EP features a fresh solo track of him plus a first-rate remix of BMSS Records own Sabretooth. Driven was the highlight on Ben Fraser`s first EP with his new label and this brilliant remix turns out the perfect alliance between Sabretooths Techno-driven Groove and Beats and Ascent’s forceful Goa melodies and elements. An outstanding EP for both nighttime and the Twilight hours.

Cash Mattock supports us once again with his brilliant collages and Stryker ensures the dancefloor blast through his powerful mastering technique.


01. Ascent - High Force
02. Sabretooth - Driven(Ascent Remix)

Mastering: Stryker Masterings
Design: Cash Mattock

Release date:

22.08.16 via Beatport (Digital)

Sound Control, Imaginarium & The Key: Freedom

 Sound Control from Serbia demonstrates on his debut EP for BMSS Records the full potential of his sonic abilities with a liberating solo track of his own as well as remixes of Ascent and Ovnimoon`s already classic "Trance Mantra” under the alias of The Key and Imaginarium`s latest charter "Insider”. Pure Psychedelic Trance, made for the big floors, ready to kick off the morning from a Twilight vibe, with fat production, deep Goa vibes and Full On basslines. A winning debut we are happy to launch via BMSS.

Mastered by Stryker Masterings.


01. The Key - Trance Mantra (Sound Control Remix)
02. Imaginarium - Insider (Sound Control Remix)
03. Sound Control - Freedom

Mastering: Stryker Masterings
Design: Cash Mattock

Release date:

08.08.16 via Beatport (Digital)

Analog & BMSS welcome you to Hexaplex Festival

 Our next adventure is upcoming: BMSS Records is once again partnering up with Analog from Beirut to bring you Hexaplex Festival 2016 in the wonderful Lebanese mountain range. For 4 days and 3 nights we invite you to dance with us under the Sun, the Moon and the Stars in one of the most beautiful locations we ever set foot at!

Join us from September 1st till 4th for some real underground vibes of Psychedelic Trance...this is one of those special gatherings you want to be a part of if pop-culture Psytrance is not really your us...good vibes with good people only! :)

This edition you can enjoy visuals by Hakan Hisim and stunning decorations by Mimesis plus music by Ascent, Boom Shankar, M-Theory, Radzy, The Key and of course a lot of our dear friends and family members...

More information, presale, info on how to arrive to Lebanon, what to bring, how to party etc here: Hexaplex Festival

We are looking forward to another adventure with all of you. Trust in Trance!

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